tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Jan 31 12:04:36 2002

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Re: subjects in complex sentences

ghItlh Qov:

> >And there are even longer examples in canon:
> >
> >   Ha'DIbaHmey meQ Sop 'e' [lu]tIv tera'nganpu'.
> >   Terrans enjoy eating burnt animals. CK
> [... many other good examples deleted ...]
> >   qagh, ro'qegh'Iwchab, targh tIq Sop 'e' lungIl Humanpu' puS.
> >   Few humans dare to eat gagh, rokeg blood pie, or heart of targ. S21
> Voragh, bIche'chu'.  You know what you're talking about and you support it 
> with canon that brooks no argument.
> You've convinced me.  It's not taste, it's English bias.  Your canon 
> examples fully support your suggestion and make my former preference quite 
> dubious.  Please keep doing this.  We need you to keep us from forming our 
> own personal dialect of Klingon.  Thank you.

Alas, it's not that simple, since there is also
canon showing the other pattern:

bogh tlhInganpu', SuvwI'pu' moj, Hegh
"Klingons are born, live as warriors, then die." (p5)

may'Daq jaHDI' SuvwI' juppu'Daj lonbe'
"When a warrior goes to a battle, he does not abandon his friends" (p38)

loQ 'oy'DI' SuvwI' bepbe'
"A warrior does not complain about physical discomfort" (p46)

quv Hutlh HoHbogh tlhIngan 'ach qabDaj 'angbe'bogh
"The Klingon who kills without showing his face has no honor" (p59)

batlh qelDI' tlhIngan, lumbe'
"A Klingon does not postpone a matter of honor" (p67)

There's even an example using the noun twice:

qanchoHpa' qoH, Hegh qoH
"Fools die young." (p117)

These are all from TKW, which is all I have access to at the moment.  There are more examples there, and I'll bet there are other examples elsewhere, too.

So I guess it really is a matter of style.  Maybe the
"noun first, then pronoun" style is considered more
literary by the Klingons.

I don't understand why either style seems too English-
centric, since either is valid in English:

"Because he refused, the captain was killed."
"Because the captain refused, he was killed."

I don't see any difference in emphasis there. I personally use the "Noun first" pattern, because I
felt it was _un_English-centric!

-- ter'eS

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